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Coast Guard ends Detroit River, Great Lakes ice-breaking operation

DETROIT – The U.S Coast Guard ended one of its two domestic ice-breaking operations Monday.

The Coast Guard provides ice-breaking assistance in U.S. waters where commercial ice-breaking resources are either unavailable or incapable of handling the difficult ice conditions. Operation Coal Shovel had members of the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaking in Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Operation Taconite ice-breaking will continue. Taconite is the larger of the two operations and is the largest domestic ice-breaking operation in the U.S. Taconite is responsible for ensuring the successful transport of cargo amid the harsh winter conditions of the northern Great Lakes.

An agreement with Canada allows Taconite to provide ice-breaking in Canadian waters such as Georgian Bay or the port of Thunder Bay.

Critical waterways in Taconite's area of responsibility include the Straits of Mackinac, Whitefish Bay and the St. Marys River.

More information on Great Lakes domestic ice-breaking operations can be found here.